This is my personal story and this is my father’s story, however, this is also the story of millions of Uyghurs and other ethnically Turkic people in East Turkistan today. My father, Abdulkerim Turan, was 79 years old when he was taken into an Indoctrination Camp around September 2017. He was released in 2018, roughly a year after being detained in a concentration camp in East Turkistan by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). He was one of the millions of Uyghurs who have been detained in the internment camps, unlawfully and without trial, or with due process. He was tortured purely due to his Uyghur ethnicity and faith. He passed away roughly 6 weeks after returning home.
We are culturally, linguistically and ethnically Turkic and we are far from the Chinese culture and language. That is why China detained my father and millions of others into these indoctrination camps under their Sinification program and policy. The CCP wants non-Chinese people to assimilate into their society and culture. Eat like Chinese, walk like Chinese, talk like Chinese and dress like Chinese. Basically, live and die like Chinese.
But more than that, they want to eradicate any semblance of what it truly means to be Uyghur; to be ourselves. Rather than ‘helping us’, they project their irrational fear of the foreign, until even speaking another language is a reason for suspicion and arrest. However, we as a nation, never surrender, we will preserve our identity, we will strive, we are resilient, faithful people and we will continue to retaliate against their attempt of Sinicization.